Title: Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 448 pages
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through Edelweiss
Emma Tupper is a dedicated lawyer with a bright future. But when she takes a month-long leave of absence to go on an African vacation, she ends up facing unexpected consequences. After she falls ill and spends six months trapped in a remote village thanks to a devastating earthquake, Emma returns home to discover that her friends, boyfriend, and colleagues thought she was dead—and that her life has moved on without her.
As she struggles to re-create her old life, throwing herself into solving a big case for a client and trying to
reclaim her beloved apartment from the handsome photographer who assumed her lease, everyone around her thinks she should take the opportunity to change. But is she willing to sacrifice her job, her relationships, and everything else she worked so hard to build?
In Forgotten, Catherine McKenzie tweaks a classic tale of discovering who we really are when everything that brings meaning to our lives is lost.
Catherine McKenzie’s latest release, Forgotten, is an engaging and fast-paced novel that is quite compelling. Emma Tupper’s month long holiday in Africa turns into six months when she first falls ill, then becomes trapped in an African village following a catastrophic earthquake. Emma’s return to England is not quite as easy as she expects when she learns everyone thinks she died in the earthquake. As she tries to pick up the pieces of her life, Emma discovers that the life she once lived may not be the life she now wants.
Emma Tupper is a career driven woman who is on the fast track to achieving her goal of partner in a prestigious law firm. But she puts her career on hold following her mother’s death when she receives her mother’s final legacy: a plane ticket to Africa, the one place her mother always dreamed of visiting. Hoping to connect with her mother and perhaps ease her grief, Emma takes a leave of absence from work, leaves her boyfriend behind and sets out on her journey to a place she never had any desire to visit.
When she returns home, Emma is ready to step back into her old life. But, as she quickly discovers, life has gone on without her. Her old job has been given to her nemesis, Sophie, her boyfriend, Craig, has a new girlfriend, and her apartment has been rented to Dominic, a photographer who is nursing a broken heart of his own.
Emma’s transition back into her life is not easy. Her employer will re-hire her, but Emma will have to climb her way back to the top. Is she ready to throw herself back into eighty hour workweeks to achieve her goal? Although her relationship with Craig was on shaky ground when she left for Africa, she is still stunned and heartbroken when she finds out he has a new girlfriend. Equally troubling are her conflicted emotions about her reluctant roommate, Dominic.
About the only thing reassuringly unchanged is Emma’s close friendship with her longtime friend, Stephanie. Stephanie is very supportive of Emma but she does not allow Emma to wallow in self-pity. She is quite perceptive, and her questions to Emma are insightful and thought-provoking.
Emma’s time in Africa is slowly revealed in bits and pieces throughout Forgotten. At first glance, it does not seem like her time away has changed Emma. At first frustrated by everyone’s insistence that she re-evaluate her life, Emma slowly begins to examine her life both before and after her trip and slowly comes to realize that her experiences have irrevocably changed her.
Forgotten is a fascinating novel that is well written with a unique storyline. Catherine McKenzie is an incredibly talented author with a true gift for creating three dimensional and appealing characters that readers can easily relate to. A realistic plot, witty dialogue and an understated romance make Forgotten a thoroughly enjoyable story that I highly recommend.